The varsity girls soccer team has strung together a good run of form to boost themselves back into the playoffs under head coach Phil Taylor. This is the first time the girls have qualified for the MIAA South Division 4 playoffs since 2015. The Lady Whalers now stand at ten wins and four losses. After a difficult start to the season, which saw them lose two of their first four games, the girls went on an impressive six-game winning streak, capped off by two victories over long time rival Martha’s Vineyard. Following their 1-0 loss to Falmouth Academy, the girls won two comeback games at home. In the first game against Sturgis West, they found themselves 2-1 down but managed to turn the game around in the second half en route to a 3-2 victory.
Similarly, against Sturgis East, the girls were 1-0 down before once again coming back to win 2-1. In the game at Martha’s Vineyard, the girls dominated but were unable to turn possession into goals. Late in the second half, sophomore midfielder Ruby Dupont scored the game’s only goal. The return fixture saw an offensive explosion from the Lady Whalers, which saw them put six past the Vineyard goalkeeper. The winning streak came to an end away at Mashpee High School on the fifteenth of October, where the girls suffered a 2-1 defeat. The next day they traveled to Sturgis West and narrowly lost 2-1 once again. In the following game against Rising Tide, the girls sealed their return to the playoffs with a 2-0 win over Rising Tide.
Speaking on the team’s season, senior captain Paige Albertson said, “I think the season is going great and we have really started to connect as a team.”
The team has included a few underclassmen in their starting 11 such as Waverly Brannigan, Dupont, and Evelyn Fey. Albertson was quick to praise the younger players saying that “the younger players have built up their confidence as the season has progressed and you can see their impact through our success.”
One of the most critical parts of the team’s success has been in the midfield, with senior captain Anna Steadman and Dupont tasked with controlling the midfield. In recent games, Steadman has been playing left back to cover for the injury of sophomore Sydney King with Kaitlyn Belanger accompanying on the right. Dupont has stepped up though, and has been the team’s primary creator this season. The back line is led by Haleigh Johnson, who plays with Renny Wadell at the center back position. The pair provide great protection for Albertson in net. In terms of goals, the girls have relied on many players, with Brannigan serving as the team’s top goal scorer.
As things stand, the girls could be looking to grab the fourth or fifth seed, which would result in a home playoff game early in November. With last year’s state champion being Millis, and tough opponents such as Cohasset and Archbishop Williams, the girls certainly have some competition ahead of them. With a young squad though, this is only the beginning of this team’s potential.
By Christopher Amaya